Tuesday, January 5, 2016

IRS penalty or involuntary health insurance purchase?

IRS penalty or involuntary health insurance purchase?  For younger, healthier folks, this is a genuine quandary – and it's one that was loudly predicted by Obamacare's many detractors (including me!).  Here comes the New York Times with an article pointing out that for many, the IRS penalties are preferable – and that will likely cause problems for the viability of Obamacare's financial underpinnings.  To wit, it will cause insurance companies to drop out.  The Times largely couches this as a potential future occurrence, but in fact it is already happening in many states (including Utah).

Now, what do you suppose the government's reaction to this will be?  I see just two likely choices, and both are bad.  First possibility (and one that I judge most likely): the IRS penalties will be raised to the point where buying insurance costs less for everyone.  Second possibility: the government just abandons the entire pretense of providing Obamacare through private insurance policies, and goes the full socialist route, with the government (backed by our tax dollars) acting as the sole healthcare insurer.  There's still significant political resistance to the latter route, not only amongst Republicans but also amongst many Democrats – so that route seems much less likely.  Unless Obama can figure out how to do it with an “executive action”, in which case doom.

I note in passing that the linked article bandies about the “possibility” that between premiums and deductibles, the cost of Obamacare could reach $10,000 a year.  Our cost in 2015 was more than twice that, with nearly $15,000 in premiums alone – for a plan with substantially less benefits than our pre-Obamacare healthcare policies.  Never underestimate the ability of a socialist mouthpiece like the Times to downplay the actual costs of their socialist agenda.  In other words, they have zero qualms about lying through their teeth...

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